Consultation Workshop on the Implementation of ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers
December 18, 2019
December 18, 2019. The U.S. Government, through USAID, is supporting ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Committee for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW) in upholding fundamental human rights of migrant workers through constructive, direct engagement with civil society. Over 35 representatives from civil society, the ASEAN Commission on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW), Vietnam’s Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA), and the Center for Development and Integration (CDI) among others convened in Hanoi to engage in policy dialogue on how to strengthen implementation of the ASEAN Consensus on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers in Vietnam. This event is the fourth in a series of consultations across all ASEAN Member States to encourage exchange and collaboration across key stakeholders on the ASEAN Consensus, organized by the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), a grantee of the ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT project. The main objective of the consultations is to provide a platform for dialogue among key stakeholders on strengthening national and regional implementation of the ASEAN Consensus, including how to employ self-assessment tools to take stock of national implementation, in partnership with civil society partners.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Ha Thi Minh Duc, Deputy Director-General of the MOLISA International Cooperation Department and Vice Chair of ACMW, expressed hope for continued discussion in the future between the Government of Vietnam and social organizations on migrant worker issues. She highlighted the opportunity to advance the ASEAN Consensus, in particular as Vietnam takes on the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.
To lay the foundation for the workshop, HRWG and the Mekong Migrant Network presented key findings from recent research studies on the human rights situation of migrant workers in ASEAN and the roles of countries of origin in protecting migrants’ rights, respectively. Through their subsequent discussions, participants explored the practical implementation of the ASEAN Consensus across three main areas: 1) challenges and opportunities in the promotion and protection of migrant workers’ rights 2) social insurance for workers in Vietnam, and 3) roles of government and civil society stakeholders in advancing ASEAN Consensus commitments.
The U.S. Government, through USAID, will continue to support the HRWG to facilitate multi-stakeholder consultations to discuss the most critical challenges and opportunities that accompany the implementation of the ASEAN Consensus at the national-level. Additional consultations are planned to take place in Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam over the next four months. Engaging as a reliable partner in national policy dialogues such as these, exemplifies how the U.S. Department of State and USAID are working together across the Indo-Pacific to not only uphold international labor standards and their integration into national-level practice, but also to protect human rights and foster accountability through civil society engagement with government officials on critical topics such as guaranteeing the rights of migrant workers.